ABOUT US

Our Story

  

Our brand can be best described by the term "Less is more". This phrase embodies the essence of minimalism, as well as our boldness in exclusively using knitted fabric and offering a one-size-fits-all approach. Some of our items are crafted from high-tech fabrics, while our sustainable sweatshirts are made from recycled plastic bottles. Despite their eco-friendly origins, they exude a luxurious shine.

We take great pride in the quality and artistry of our products, all of which are meticulously crafted in JAPAN. When you wear them, you'll immediately notice the superior fabric quality and the uniqueness of their pattern cutting. Our garments have a transformative effect, making anyone, regardless of their height or size, feel extraordinary and perfectly aligned with their individual vibe. We possess an innate understanding of how to accentuate the most flattering aspects while subtly concealing others, ensuring that every woman feels attractive and confident. This is the key to our success.

The way we approach dressing for work, travel, and leisure know no boundaries. COGTHEBIGSMOKE truly embraces diversity, effortlessly blending into any setting with a simple change of shoes and accessories. It is this versatility that has catapulted our brand to instant acclaim in both Japan and the United States.


The Founder

Noriko was born in Japan and has always had a strong belief, since childhood, that she would naturally venture beyond her home country. At the age of 16, she embarked on her first solo journey abroad, and since then, she has rarely been found sitting at home, always propelling herself forward to broaden her horizons. The cultural shock she experienced upon entering a high school in the US at the age of 17 had a profound impact on Noriko, shattering the confines of her narrow worldview.


With a focus on studying design and art in general, Noriko immersed herself in the realm of fashion, her sole and unwavering passion, which she discovered after receiving numerous awards. Her pursuit in this field continues to this day.


Having been exposed to the global fashion scene, Noriko now finds herself in the UK, a place she can truly call home. After working in the design department of established British brands, she established COGTHEBIGSMOKE in 2019, driven by the desire to create products that fully satisfy her from every angle.


Noriko's interest lies not in how she appears to others, but in pursuing a silhouette that satisfies her own sense of beauty. This pursuit involves carefully facing jersey, a material that is often lightly treated. And this material can be said to be a best friend when spending most of one's true self time in life. For her, even when going to the corner shop, seeing her silhouette reflected in the window and being satisfied with it are major factors of simple happiness.


In order to realise that perfect silhouette, Noriko personally hand-draws patterns and relentlessly pushes herself to the limits. She finds immense joy in utilising recycled materials, finding a sense of purpose, known as "IKIGAI," in transforming them into something that shines magnificently, surpassing their original glory tenfold.


The Little Secret of Black Label

 

Do you know the message conveyed by the black label attached to the back of COGTHEBIGSMOKE? 


Introducing something new is always an exciting endeavour. However, recently, it has become difficult for us to obtain our favourite items that we want to cherish and wear repeatedly. In the world of fashion, it is believed blindly that constantly announcing innovative concepts is necessary. However, is it really necessary to replace things only for the sake of the year or season? When considering the reason why something new is always sought after in the fashion world, it can be concluded that it is because designs declared as new for a particular year or season are eventually considered "expired" as time goes by. 


Our first collection, which debuted in 2019, was not called "2019 Autumn/Winter New Collection," but rather displayed as "Collection 1." A small black label with the number "1" incorporated into the back was sewn inconspicuously. Naturally, the subsequent designs were adorned with "2." In other words, the number on the black label represents the identity of the design. It is not a matter of whether it is new or old, but rather it plays a role similar to a birth certificate for the design. And over the years, numerous numbers coexist in our collection each season, creating a beautiful harmony. 

"If it doesn't need to be changed, don't change it." This is the most fundamental and important spirit of our brand. 


Take a moment to inspect the black label in your wardrobe. What number did you discover? Regardless of the number, we believe it will continue to radiate its humble brilliance for eternity.


 What is COGTHEBIGSMOKE?


The origin of the brand name “COG THE BIG SMOKE” is derived from two things near and dear to the designer’s heart. 

The first: her jet setter childhood teddy bear, named “COG” 

The second half comes from London’s longtime nickname “THE BIG SMOKE” 

After decades of traveling, the brand made London its home, inspired by the arts scene, architecture and creative movements the city is synonymous with. 

COGTHEBIGSMOKE embraces a minimalist concept, with “less is more” at the centre of our ethos. Our collection’s focal point is jersey material crafted for all ages, sizes, seasons and occasions. 

COGTHEBIGSMOKE is made with the Jetsetter in mind. Our designs are versatile enough to wear on any trip, and can easily go from your suitcase to exploring a new city. 

Our customer is driven by quality over quantity, seeking pieces that will not only clothe her, but inspire confidence in anything and everything she commits to doing. 

Rephrase with Ginger (Cmd+⌥+E)